When In Manila, poverty is not something new. In the time you spent from your house to work, I’m pretty sure you already came across several beggars, street children, and the like. It’s one of the biggest problems our nation has, and though we can’t help each and every one of these people, we can at least try and extend a helping hand to a few.
Tamara Lyn shares this conversation she had with a 71 year old taxi driver last June 15, 2015:
This is Mang Louie.
I was his passenger this morning from Ayala Triangle to BGC. My first thought after entering his cab was “medyo matanda na si manong pero nag-ta-taxi parin”, then he proceeded to chat me up saying exactly the thought I had in my head.
He was a very pleasant guy, but with a really rough life story.
He used to be a gardener for a rich family that lived in one of those insanely exclusive Makati villages, along with his wife, who was the maid for the last 22 years of their lives. He said that the head of the household only paid him 200php a month, saying that he lived and ate there with his wife anyway and they’re not supporting anyone (I WILL ALWAYS SAY THIS: PEOPLE WHO EMPLOY HOUSEHELP, THEY ARE NOT YOUR PROPERTY – THEY DO NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING. TREAT THEM FAIRLY, DON’T BE AN ASSHAT). The asshat, formerly known as the head of household, would even threaten all the help that if any one of them even tried to leave he would ask the police to look for them for stealing something.
He and his wife managed to get away from that situation and he looked for his only brother. According to him, he eventually found his brother in a squatter’s area, where they lived until the brother passed away. He and his wife then had a baby girl.
His daughter managed to finish second year college, but due to poverty, she wanted to help out. She eventually met a guy who helped out with their finances and eventually got pregnant with four of the guy’s babies (in the span of five – six years that they were together). Only to eventually have the guy pass away, and find out that he was married (AGAIN, GUYS, DON’T CHEAT ON YOUR WIVES. DON’T BE AN ASSHAT, BECAUSE YOU’RE MOST PROBABLY INVOLVING ANOTHER PERSON IN YOUR MESS). So every single convenience that Mang Louie and his family experienced, were taken away, including the house where they lived by the legitimate wife.
They ended-up renting a house in Cavite in one of those government funded homes. He commutes from Cavite to the taxi garage.
His daughter is currently in the mental hospital probably due to (in my assumption because of the story) trauma of the whole situation. Between the rent he is paying, commuting, his daughter’s meds, four grandchildren (all under the age of 10) to support, and everything else in-between, he is barely making ends meet.
His daughter is getting better, but he would like to ask help to bring her home. The amount is Php2,000 to get his daughter out of the hospital, but the expenses won’t stop there.
Mang Louie is 71 years old, suffered through a stroke, and will probably need to work until he can’t anymore.
I gave him some money, in hopes that it would help. But if you can, please contribute a little extra.
His number is 0917 662 7080
EDIT: If you would wish to help, you can call him and ask where you can drop off physical goods/extend monetary donations. BUT! Better if you know an NGO/outfit that can help him and his family, please do so in this way.
And here we are, griping about how we can’t afford new clothes, shoes, and iPhones, huh?
It was a dose of humble pie for me this morning.
We ask our government to fix the traffic situation, and so many other things. But maybe, just maybe, we need to vote smarter, so people like Mang Louie will have a good government he can ask help from and a good healthcare system that can take care of him and his family. Maybe, just maybe, instead of our taxes going to the pockets of corrupt politicians, it should go somewhere for the benefit of the people.
And maybe we all need to be thankful a little bit more for what we have.
Cases like these are not new to us. Mang Louie is just one of the many Filipinos who stroke out and needs just a little help to get back on track. We admire him for continuing to go to work everyday despite his age just to support his family. So if you feel you want to help out, please do not hesitate to contact him.
UPDATE: Tamara Lyn got in touch with Mang Louie just now and asked for his bank details. If you wish to extend some monetary help, you may deposit it to his bank account, details are as follows:
Western Union Tanza Cavite